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What is a shortcode? A shortcode is a quick, streamlined way to add functionality and media to your content without resorting to filling up an entire page with HTML. If you’re still a bit unsure about what a shortcode is, think of it as an easy shortcut to do things like embedding a YouTube video or a Twitter timeline on your site.
Shortcodes are a great way to feature content such as video and audio on your site. The formatting, spacing, and control buttons are all pre-styled for you, so there’s nothing more to do except curate the best content for your site.
Another common use is the portfolio shortcode, which is incorporated into many design and photography sites and displays your work in a compelling visaual format.
Shortcodes are excellent for pulling in dynamic content and keeping your posts and pages fresh by using feeds, such as the RSS Feed shortcode.
There’s a full list of shortcodes that WordPress.com supports and instructions for using them on the Support site. They are broadly grouped into Audio, Video, Images & Documents, and Miscellaneous; try out a few to find your favorites. And with the introduction of the Shortcode block, incorporating them into your content has never been smoother.
Some themes use other shortcodes for layout features such as columns and special galleries.
If you want to use a custom shortcode, there are a number of plugins which can help, such as the Shortcode API.
Shortcodes allow you to think differently about how you post content to your WordPress.com site. Your posts and pages can become dynamic, living things full of interactive videos, podcasts, RSS feeds, and even content created by other people. This means that others can passively contribute to your website — all you need is a link.
So, what is a shortcode? Shortcodes make it easier than ever to generate content on your WordPress.com site, so get started today and build dynamic content with just a pair of square brackets.
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